Last night being Saturday night, Mark and I were actually going to do the whole date night thing and see that new M. Night Shyamalan movie at the nearest theater. We were about to leave when he realized he'd lost his wallet and after scouring the house for an hour still couldn't find it. While we still could have made the movie, I'm a broke book store employee and can't afford movie tickets for two until pay day (if I want to eat this week). We changed plans, drove out to Waterloo Video and rented some horror films — The Eye (the original Chinese version), Teeth, and Ab-Normal Beauty (another Chinese film). We came home (with sodas from Sonic, of course) still mourning the loss of Mark's wallet, but on our way in heard some noise in the bushes. It sounded like a cat, so we started taking a mental inventory of our animals. All but one stay inside at all times, and that one wasn't out. So we started calling —here, kitty, kitty etc — until out walked a black beauty of an animal, mewling. She immediately flopped over at Mark's feet begging to be loved.
It's hot enough in Texas for people, but, for a domestic animal that clearly has spent most of its life indoors, the summer sun is brutal. We couldn't leave this poor girl outside so Mark scooped her up and we brought her directly into our bathroom where she would be safe, but still separate from the resident population. I wish this was the first time this had happened to us, but apparently there is some neon sign on the front of our house: FREE FOOD. CAT MOTEL.
Two of our other cats are charity cases. Mocha, the irritable Siamese came to me back in New York when a room mate neglected her and I just took her on when the girl moved out. And Turkleton, our big Abyssinian mix, lived under our porch for several months before we deemed it too hot for him to live out there anymore. This is in addition to the two cats we adopted on purpose: my Maine Coon, Telemachus and Mark's three-legged calico, Beatrice. Seriously, we are not wanting for cats.
But people keep dumping their animals, which I guess shouldn't be shocking to me, since it's a crisis in just about every area, urban or rural. The impression I get of Austin, though, is of a caring, neighborly community full of activists and leaders and people who should give a shit about their pets. I've called every veterinarian in the area, as well as the Town Lake Animal Center (where all lost pets in Austin are registered), the SPCA, and the Animal Trustees of Austin. No one has called them about their missing cat.
We really can't afford to keep this baby girl, even though we are already growing attached, so we're hoping to find a friend to take her in if we can't locate her family. I met one family today who were hoping that their lost kitty was the one we found, but it just wasn't in the cards, and they're the only possible family that Craigslist has turned up. My biggest fear is that someone thought it would be a good idea to get a black cat on Friday the 13th - for a prank or a party or just for funsies - then thought better of it and ditched her. Thankfully, she's in good spirits anyway.
I'm pretty sure that my readers are the proverbial choir, but, seriously guys, lets take care of these furry creatures, at least for karma's sake.